It’s more than ‘just’ menopause

It’s more than ‘just’ menopause

Some days it feels to me like the whole world is shifting on its axis. And at times I’m both scrabbling to keep up, and very much content with doing things my way.

I mean, apart from the obvious global shifts that have happened in the last 12 months, my period cycle has changed. I noticed some uncomfortable self-consciousness creeping in a little, and the ways in which I settle myself is far removed from how things used to be.

My energy feels different just lately. Not good or bad, just different.
I look at photos from barely five years ago and I’m genuinely shocked to see how much my face has changed.

But the windows still need to be cleaned. My parents still piss me off sometimes, and I still don’t know how to change the clock in my car.
I often catch my thoughts, and it feels like I’ve never changed (do you ever stop feeling 23, on the inside?!)

And yet, I feel shifts within myself, on my axis, about who I am.
And who I want to be. 
It’s deep and at times uncomfortable and yet I welcome it in, in so many ways.
I have conversations about this with my mentors and I feel very grateful to have such beautiful people in my life to share it with. 

I talk about it with clients and we find similarities in feelings, of deep desires resurfacing, of wanting more for ourselves. I encourage it because this is the real ‘deep work’ that your body is nudging you to do.

It’s no longer just about ‘loss and decline’ of hormones, it becomes all about what’s to gain from the process of turning inwards.
Not in a ‘woe is me’ kind of way, but in a compassionate and supportive ‘what can I learn from this?’ kind of way.

I genuinely love it.

Menopause. Midlife.

It’s so much more than hot flushes and wonky periods.
It’s even more than the sugar binges, the tears, the rollercoaster of hormones.

I have skills and strategies to help you with those things, to gain practical knowledge to help yourself, but my true calling is in helping you nurture yourself, in a way that goes beyond the surface level.

Soul nurturing.

It’s like a feeling of getting back to yourself, an unwavering acceptance and confidence, a way of nurturing what’s truly in your heart.

When we talk more about those deeper things, we also find that the hormones and emotions, the weight gain and tiredness, are naturally smoothed out too, because they’re all contained within a unique package… you.

I’d love to help you more with all this. When you’re ready, get in touch by using the contact details below

February 2021

Soulful strategies for hormonal balance

Soulful strategies for hormonal balance

Nurturing my adventurous spirit to increase resilience in menopause. 

I feel it in my soul, even on the dull rainy days. 
It’s not just about ‘getting a bit of fresh air’. Not for me, and I doubt for you either.

Being in nature lifts me up in a different way than an afternoon on the sofa (which I also love to do at weekends).
It speaks to my adventurous side, and cultivates a source of strength that I don’t think I’ve fully leveraged, yet.

Of course, there’s the practical element of ticking another job off the list.
Like taking the dog for a walk. Posting a letter. Or just getting the steps in.

But there’s another layer to it, which I’m noticing as more and more essential to not only me but for every 40+ woman I speak with.  Women who feel a bit lost, on the inside. Feeling the hormonal shifts and not always liking who they’re becoming. 

I’ve been at that place too; not feeling comfortable in my own skin. Wanting to either go back, or press the fast-forward.
Either way, not enjoying who I am. Never quite feeling content with myself, never really feeling enough.
I still have to be careful even now, that I actively reject the compulsion for comparionitis. 

When I look ahead now, towards my upcoming peri-menopausal years, I know there’s a part of me that’s been waiting in the wings, that I know will help me through. 
I’m making the effort to take on peri-menopause as an adventure, thinking of myself as an endurance athlete going all-in, for life. 
I’m not referring to myself as an athlete in terms of exercise – I mean, my approach to life is about taking on the long-game, not a sprint. Not a quick fix.
I know it all sounds a bit whimsical but give me a minute and you might understand where I’m coming from.
It might just help you, too.

Being outdoors gives me perspective, a different kind of outlook that helps me to make decisions – from what to have for lunch, to what I want the next 12 months of my life to be about.
It’s not just about feeling the sun (or the rain!) on my face, it’s not always about slowing down and breathing deeper, either. 

Sometimes I’ll find my mind racing with ideas when inspiration hits. Or I’ll step away from my desk in frustration, and surprise myself with a surge of confidence when I come to it later.
Clarity comes to me with a backdrop of big skies. Decisions feel easier to make, and I’m somehow more willing to trust my own mind. Have you ever felt that?

I could talk to you about the hormonal benefits of being in nature; for managing stress hormones, improving my cortisol curve for better energy and sleep, encouraging calming progesterone to have it’s say.
The benefits of oxytocin from the connection to myself and others. The ‘getting away from it all’ even just for a few minutes, as decompression from screen time and my dopamine filled brain.

Whilst I love all the science behind it, sometimes intuition and personal experience feels a stronger pull.
Even if n=1, when you’re the ‘one’, then how you feel is every bit as valid as any science report. 
It’s more than simple common sense, being outdoors gives a deeper feeling of nourishing myself from the inside out.

Going further with this idea of adventure, and looking to my clients past and present… I see that every single one who came to me under a cloud of anxiety, low confidence, emotional outbursts at home and work… they all felt better, mental health symptoms lifted, physical problems were alleviated, by cultivating this feeling of adventure.

It isn’t always outdoors, but it is always about rediscovering and then exploiting your own boldness, my clients (and me!) often surprising themselves with it. Like trying out a new hobby, or joining a new fitness class.
Saying no more often. And feeling more in control of what happens, when they say yes.
It almost always snowballs and the results are often huge.

Trusting themselves more, small decisions create new experiences.
The elusive mojo returns, there is renewed energy, a sense of purpose reinvigorated, more hope and faith.
I often feel like I’m speaking to an entirely different woman from just a few weeks before.

For me, I’m encouraging my own adventures in a similar way (not all of them outdoors);
to explore new friendships, grow my own herbs, learn a new piece on the piano, go back to a childhood hobby, weekday picnics, walk barefoot, wild swimming.

No matter how small, these new experiences feel exciting to me, they give me focus outside of my problems and struggles. Not in a way to distract myself from my worries, but to encourage more from myself, to inspire myself and to be inspired by others and things around me.
It feels so warm and welcoming to recognise these glowing embers inside me.

Doing something adventurous, even if to someone else it sounds laughable, it feels to me like the antidote to anxious thoughts and middle of the night ruminations.
It directs my thoughts, pushes at my own boundaries and reminds me that I’ve much more to give, much more to feel.

I want to continue feeding this part of me that feels so attuned to the natural world around me, it feels such an important observation of myself.

Have you ever stopped or slowed down, to think deeply about yourself like this?

What did you find?

If you’ve not yet joined my free facebook community – Menopause Done Naturally – then all you need to do is click the button below. It’s available to all women who are seeking some basic advice about how to navigate the menopause in a natural way.

And if you’re ready for a private chat, a one to one consultation to find the solutions to feeling more like yourself, just click the link below to get in touch:

September 2020

There are more than two characters in your menopause story. Can we talk about that?

There are more than two characters in your menopause story. Can we talk about that?

Menopause is not just a conversation about ovaries and oestrogen.

[May 2020]

It’s also adrenals, thyroid and digestion, testosterone, insulin, cortisol, HGH and more. 
If we only talked about ovaries and oestrogen, we’d be missing out HUGE pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.

The very same puzzle that brings you back to you, the real you underneath all the hormonal crap.
You’re still under there by the way.

Yeah, I’m well aware of how confusing and overwhelming it sounds, but don’t reach for that search engine just yet!

All the women I’ve helped so far (I lost count in the hundreds), all found their symptoms were improved by taking some action on a ‘base’ of: 

  • Drinking more water than anything else
    Even if you end up drinking coffee later, let’s at least set the intention for more water.
  • Taking practical steps to improve sleep quality
    I know you don’t want to hear it, but the bedtime habits really do count!
  • Appropriate exercise
    Not all exercise is ‘right’ for every woman
  • Eating for hormonal balance
    Instead of fixating on calories or weight loss, the latter comes as a nice side-effect when we do the above
  • Doing some ‘life laundry’ and addressing stress
    Just start with the smaller piles that feel manageable, ok?

I’m not saying your problems aren’t bigger than this, I’m saying that if we’re really going to alleviate the layers of symptoms you might be experiencing, we need to start with the big rocks first.

It may be that along the way, we discover you need a little extra help with something. That might lead onto supporting you for digestive health, or hormonal therapy, or herbal supplements.

I’ve never met anyone who didn’t feel some improvement from fine-tuning their ‘base’ strategies, starting with the above.
Which starts to build the confidence and belief in yourself, that you have got what it takes to work on the rest.

I know that it seems a bit ‘far fetched’ for this to be true, and I know that nobody really wants to be doing it. 
Drinking water and eating vegetables instead of hobnobs is BORING!
(if you don’t know how to make it enjoyable, that is)

Most people overlook the 5 points above. I’ve had clients tell me they didn’t think it would work for them, that my approach sounded too simple.

I get it.

But the low moods, sleep problems, hot flushes, belly fat, heavy periods, PMT, emotional outbursts, they really DID improve. 
Take a quick scroll through this page to see what they said themselves.

Daily actions form the basis of survive or thrive. Sink or swim.
It’s the basis, not the everything. We have to start somewhere, and this is it.

Even with medication (which I’m not against btw), we can’t take a detour around the base habits.

If it sounds simple, surely that’s a reason to give a go, not a reason to dismiss it?

If you’ve not yet joined my free facebook community – Menopause Done Naturally – then all you need to do is click the button below. It’s available to all women who are seeking some basic advice about how to navigate the menopause in a natural way.

Click here to join my free group Menopause Done Naturally

What’s the ‘alternative’ to HRT?

“Is there a list of essential supplements I need to know about?”

Surely if you’re going to ‘do menopause naturally’, you’re going to need something else?

To replace the medication that most people use?

What’s the real ‘alternative’ to that?

Ok. I know it seems like the answer must be in a bottle or glass jar of some kind, or maybe a drink?

Especially when you’re trying so hard, and still feeling more up and down than a yo-yo (wow that’s a dated analogy, but I think we’re a similar age).

The ‘supplements conversation’ is mostly reserved for clients, women who are in my programmes or paid groups. 

Not because I’m a bitch and purposefully hold useful info back from you. No, it’s because it can actually be quite dangerous to go try this or that, and I really don’t want to be putting you at risk, or making anything worse.

In the first instance, we have to ask the question – what exactly are we supplementing?

A lifestyle rich in late nights and coffee? A regular pattern of overwhelm and rumination?

Because there ain’t no supplement that will ‘solve’ that kind of tiredness and stress. Let’s not waste money on tablets and instead focus on the real causes of the problem.

I know how annoying it is, that there isn’t a single one-sentence answer, for the questions like…

‘What will help me sleep better?’
Or … ‘How can I get rid of brain fog?’ … ‘How do I stop the hot sweats?’ … ‘Why am I so emotional?’

There is no single pill (medical or holistic) that will solve it. However, there is PLENTY you can do, to feel better and even solve the problem.

I would love to say it can all be solved in a week by taking x,y,z. But I’d be lying. 

However, most symptoms CAN DEFINITELY be improved within a week. Yes.

When my clients report fast improvements like that, it’s always from a build up of habits, or a few easy tweaks with food, daily routines that affect mindset and the like. 

I know, nobody really wants to get up and start making an omelette instead of pouring a bowl of granola. Me too. I used to be a cereal monster. And toast!

Would I like a bottle of beer and a family bag of Maltesers tonight instead of a herbal tea? Sure I would. I’m human too.

But I can’t slip back into habits like that, and also expect any supplements I do take, to work for me. 

I’m not saintly, none of my clients are either. We feel better because we do the things that work, MOST of the time. 

It gets easier, especially when you notice how it feels, when you really know it’s making a difference. 

Supplements are a bit like the icing on the cake, they finish things off but they’re not always completely necessary to make a pretty decent cake.

It doesn’t make sense to put the icing on just yet. There’s a bit more to it than weighing out some ingredients, and licking the mixture off the spoon. And maybe you won’t even need that icing (it’s definitely possible).

First though, we’re going to need to look at what needs to change, and help you find ways to make it easier for yourself

(by the way, have you clicked the link at the top of the page, to get my free guide? I go into lots more details about this stuff)

Yes, I’m talking about food, water intake, daily habits. Not just ‘healthy eating’, that’s just too vague a term now. In peri-menopause, we need to go a bit further than that.

That’s why symptoms are useful. They’re like signposts, pointing the way forwards. Shining a light on a clue, giving you a nudge to have a look at the bigger picture. 

I know how much you want me to give you a list of supplements, and just be done with it. I have to tell you though, none of my clients overcame their sleep issues or anxiety by taking tablets as a first course of action

(and I think they were ALL surprised at how quickly they felt better, once they actually got started on using my strategies)

When it comes to alleviating any of the typical menopause symptoms (tiredness, poor memory, emotional outbursts, weight gain, hot flushes), we need to go upstream, instead of wading through the problems at the bottom of the river.

Menopause can feel complicated enough already. We shouldn’t add to that, we need to look at ways of simplifying it.

If you’ve not yet joined my free facebook community – Menopause Done Naturally – then all you need to do is click the button below. It’s available to all women who are seeking some basic advice about how to navigate the menopause in a natural way.

Put The Weapons Down

Put The Weapons Down

Menopause Is Not a war, But It Is a Call To Action

[May 2020]

I think there are many women and even many of my friends, who haven’t realised yet that they are peri-menopausal. 

Well, how would they know? 

(unless they’re in my group or read my Womanual, lol)

Which means, there are many women still focused on: 

  • Calorie-controlled diets to get rid of the belly fat
  • ‘Catching up’ on sleep at the weekend, yet wondering why they still feel tired
  • Blaming work for the increased stress and overwhelm
  • Blaming tiredness / stress for the lack of libido
  • Wondering why anxiety / depression started to creep in on the scene.

When there’s already a lot going on in your life, it can be hard to know what’s really down to menopause, or not.

But the truth of it is, everything you do and all the habits you have, will have some affect on how well you cope in menopause.

I’ve heard some women talk about menopause like they’re going into war, but that’s not a fight I want to help you with.

I’m 40 (you could look more surprised than that, just sayin’) and staring peri-menopause in the face.

It’s not an aggressive staring match though. 

I look her in the face, so I can get to know her a bit more. I’ve chosen it to be this way, now, whilst the decision is perhaps a little easier.

You see, I’m curious and I want to be friends, I don’t want a battle for the next 15+ years

(‘cos that’s how long we could be living together for)

I like to stand up for myself but I absolutely hate arguments, and that’s exactly the approach I’m now taking into this next decade.

I still have monthly periods but they don’t always show up in exactly the same way they used to.

My body shape is changing, even my face is changing and that feels weird to me.

Sometimes I feel like a paranoid teenager. Subtle changes, but definitely happening. 

The more I ignore it, the worse I could be making it for myself, in later years.

Why would I even do that to myself?

Nobody wants to think of themselves as getting older, I’m the same as you 

(and we are both still 23 on the inside, right?)

Plus there’s this thing of putting my fingers in my ears: 

‘la la la it’s not happening’

But if we continue doing that, we’re both wasting valuable time, when we could be becoming more resilient, courageous and knowledgeable about what we can do about all these changes.

Accepting your hormones are changing, is definitely not the same thing as getting old before your time,

or letting yourself go. 

You don’t need to get all fired up and pissed off about it. This isn’t a fight to be had. 

Although believe me, I’ve seen enough women try.

The last couple of years for me in particular, have really shown that there is so much to gain. It’s not all about ‘loss and decline’.

At the same time, ‘just putting up with it’, and pretending ‘it’s not that bad’, are not effective strategies. 

Somewhere in the middle, there’s something to be said about intuition, leaning in and supporting yourself (without standing on an island). 

Actually there’s ALOT to be said about that last bit.

I promise I’ll keep sharing about it.

If you’ve not yet joined my free facebook community – Menopause Done Naturally – then all you need to do is click the button below. It’s available to all women who are seeking some basic advice about how to navigate the menopause in a natural way.